Friday, March 30, 2007

Mongkok Dim Sum / Beef Kway Teow

I was feeling hungry after a night of partying so I dragged B out for supper. We ended going to Geylang for beef kway teow as I haven't had it in like forever.

Thank goodness we managed to get a parking lot right outside the coffeeshop as firstly the parking situation around here is always horrendous, and secondly, you don't really want to be walking around this area, especially late at night - the prostitutes are all around parading their 'wares'...

The original beef kway teow stall is across the street at the corner of Lorong 9, but I think the brother or uncle or someone like that opened up this stall. We ordered a plate of Beef Kway Teow for $10 -

I love the gravy that this dish is smothered in... and the fact that the beef slices are super tender. The two of us managed to finish this despite the fact that we ordered dim sum as well!

If there's dim sum available, I cannot help but order Siew Mai -

Anybody who's ever had dim sum with me knows how much I lurve Siew Mai... and the ones here were not bad.

We also ordered Chee Cheong Fun...

And Seafood Beancurd Roll...

We were so stuffed after all that food. Whatever calories I worked off from dancing earlier in the night was definitely replaced with this meal :) Can't wait to have the beef kway teow again!

Mongkok Dim Sum
214 Geylang Road (Lorong 8)
Tel : 6841 5133
Operating Hours : Mon - Fri 3pm-5am / Sat 12pm-5am / Sun 10am-4am

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Kura No Naka

I heard about this Japanese restaurant in Clark Quay a while back... and when I met G at Clark Quay for dinner one evening, I somehow knew we would end up here as this woman seriously loves Japanese food (and she is so deprived of it where-ever in the world she ends up working in).

Looking at the entrance on the ground floor, you would never expect that the restaurant is totally sprawling upstairs. Despite being so massive, the dim lighting gave it a very cosy feel.

I left the ordering up to G and we ended up with some really great dishes -

The Deep Fried Oysters $17.00+++ were perfectly fried - crispy on the outside, juicy oyster on the inside.

The Tofu Mentai $14.00+++ was amazing! Don't be deceived by how plain it looks - it's just silken tofu with cheese and fish roe on a hotplate... but it tastes so so good! Definitely a must-try if you're here!

I loved the Maguro Avacado Salad $10.00+++ too. Chunks of tuna with avocado in a mayonnaise-type dressing... my only complaint is that the serving is too small!

No Japanese meal with G is complete without some kind of sashimi... so we had Salmon Sashimi $14.00+++ - it was as fresh as you would expect from a good Japanese restaurant.

All in all it was a wee bit pricey, but the food was great, good service and nice ambience so definitely worth the price.

Kura No Naka
3B The Foundry
#02-02 River Valley Road
Clark Quay
Tel : 6336 6659

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Din Tai Fung

Two main reasons why I've never been to Din Tai Fung all this time -
(1) There's always a queue
(2) I read somewhere that they don't allow photography of their food

I finally had the chance to eat here recently - there wasn't much of a queue and thanks to Daphne being very obviously pregnant, we also didn't have to wait very long for a table :)

We weren't terribly hungry so ordered a few dishes to share...

Of course we had to order the Xiao Long Bao $8.50++ :

The Xiao Long Bao was quite good - thin skin, tasty meat and soup. I will be hard pressed to say if it's better than the one at Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao... well, unless I had the two different Xiao Long Baos in front of me to try at the same time...

We also had the Pork Chop Fried Rice $8.50++ :

The Pork Chop was yummy and went perfectly with the Egg Fried Rice.

And again I have to rave about how amazing plain old veggies taste in chinese restaurants. Erm, and also again I have to admit I have no idea what this veggie is... I think it's spinach. Some help, Ms Toh??

Oh, I'm not sure if they still have the "no photography" rule, but we were sitting in a corner so I was taking photos very surreptitiously ;)

Din Tai Fung
252 North Bridge Road
#B1-08 Raffles City
Tel : 6336 6369

Friday, March 23, 2007

Green on Earth Café

I read about this place and thought of checking it out... until I found out the location - Beauty World!?! Anyone who's familiar with the shopping centres in this area will understand my apprehension... but it was on a particularly adventurous day that I decided make the trip here.

Walking through the building, you feel like you're in a time warp - nothing has changed here the last 20 years... So it's a real surprise when get to the top of the escalator and first see this cafe - the zen decor and airy ambience is such a stark difference from everything else in this building!

That's a picture of one of the walls :)

I love anything spicy so of course I had to try the Thai Tom Yum Bee Hoon (brown rice bee hoon cooked in tom yum paste $5.50) -

I liked this a lot - it had just a touch of tom yum spiciness.

Healthy Kuay Teow (kuay teow sauteed with organic shoyu and topped with julienne vegetables $5.50) sounded like a total oxymoron so of couse I had to try it -

Of course it's not going to have the full-on taste of char kuay teow, but it's really not as bland as it looks...

The Thai Tofu Cakes were not that great - and such a small portion for $4!

We also ordered Roulade of Julienne Vegetables (Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls $5) -

All the veg in this was raw, which wasn't quite what I expected... but it was quite good, only thing that bothered me was that it was pretty messy to eat.

We just had to take a photo from this angle... don't the ones with the lettuce sticking out look like little trees? :)

Worth the trip out the boondocks, I reckon - the food is cheap, good and extremely healthy.

Green on Earth Café
144 Upper Bukit Timah Road
#04-03 Beauty World Centre
Tel : 6468 4748

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Graze (revisted)

It was Karen M's birthday and at her request, we celebrated it here.

The last time I was in Rochester Park on a Friday night, the parking situation was horrendous, so I was expecting the worse when I was approaching the car park that evening. To my surprise, the car park was half empty! It might have been the incessant rain that was foiling everyone's plans, but I have the feeling that the hype about Rochester might also be dying down.

We were quite impressed by the service when the staff swooped in to keep away our umbrellas when we arrived at the restaurant... but the service the rest of the night left much to be desired...

As it expected with such ambient lighting the photos are quite bad - sorry for the strain on your eyes :(

We ordered a few starters to share -

King Prawn Done Three Ways - Tempura, Chilled, Pan-tossed with Coconut Coriander Sorbet $18+++. So the photo is not very clear, but I'm sure you're thinking "are there really three KING prawns on that plate??". There were definitely three prawns served, but whether they were king prawns were debatable...

We also shared the Crab Salad $16+++ but I can't really remember how it tasted...

For the main course I had one of the specials, Butterfish wrapped in Prosciutto $38+++ -

Seeng how the starters were in pretty small portions, I was expecting the same for my main course... and was quite surprised when it turned out to have two relatively big servings of fish. This is the first time I've had butterfish - it's white and flaky like cod, but a bit meatier in texture. Each prosciutto wrapped roll was totally stuffed with the butterfish. The combination of fish with prosciutoo was amazing! But there was so much fish in each serving that I could just barely finish one piece and had to give away the other one.

The birthday girl had another one of the specials, Lamb Loin $38+++,

her husband had the Roasted Barramundi with Pumpkin and Parmesan Cheese Ravioli $30+++,

the resident vegetarian, had the Pumpkin, Nutmeg, Pine nut and Parmesan cheese Ravioli $24+++,

And the beef lover's wife had the Soy-lacquered Wagyu Ox Cheek, Coconut Rice, Green Papaya and Pomelo Salad $32+++ :)

Since I've never had Rhubarb, I was quite eager to try the Green Apple and Rhubarb Crumble with Bourbon Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream $12+++ -

The rhubarb was quite indistinguishable from the apple in the gooey mess under the crumble, but I'm sure it's what made the dessert even more sour than it already was. It was good, but impossible for one person to finish on their own... I felt quite sick after eating most of it.

Other desserts that were ordered included the Cheese Plate $25+++,

and Black and White Pudding Cake $18+++.

The service was pretty scrappy. One example was how the waiter who took our order for the desserts had a pretty poor memory, and while he was (barely remembering and) repeating our orders, he got another waiter to take over and we had to go through our orders all over again. No idea what was up with that...

Another thing that annoyed me about this place - when I called to make a reservation for 10 persons, I was told that for 10 pax and above, we have to order from a set menu (appetizer, main course, dessert - all items available on the normal menu, coffee/tea) at $80+++ per head. I thought it was a really silly rule and was quite glad when our headcount fell to 9. When I asked for the reason for the rule, the staff gave a reason which I can't remember right now but remember it as being really silly.

Didn't enjoy dinner as much as I enjoyed brunch, so if I do come back it will likely only be for brunch. Nice ambience and reasonably good food, but the service could be improved...

Graze Restaurant
4 Rochester Park
Tel : 6775 9000

Friday, March 16, 2007

Ocean Curry Fish Head

Every once in a while, I'll make the trek down to the Raffles Place area for lunch. This was one of those rare occasions when everyone could make it - guess it helped that we started planning this way in advance... impromptu lunches never quite work out with us, does it? :)

This place is apparently quite popular, and thank goodness *someone* got there early and reserved a huge table for the 8 of us (you're the best, Ennie!). Ordering of food was also left to the same person, her being the mother hen of the group...

The star of the meal - the Curry Fish Head :

I seldom get to eat Curry Fish Head so was quite pleased when I found out we were eating this... it was the Chinese-style fish head, that tends to be less spicy and more sour than its Indian counterpart. No complaints about this - tasty and lots of meat. What I also love about curry fish head is eating all the other stuff in the curry - namely pineapple, brinjal, ladies' finger etc.

With that many people, just one Curry Fish Head is definitely not enough.

Some of the other dishes we had were Sweet and Sour Pork...

and Chilli Prawns...

For the vegetarian in the house, and to ensure that we omnivores have a balanced diet, we also ordered Tofu...

Chai Por Omelette...

and Heng Cai (sweet potato leaves).

As usual, I was berated for eating too little... I will remind all present that I was one of the last ones to finish eating (and it was because of my endless picking of the practically bare fish head) AND a few of us (me included) even proceeded to have dessert after lunch. So THERE! :P

P.S. Thanks for the photos, Joni!

Ocean Curry Fish Head
34 Upper Cross Street
Tel : 6532 5343

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Westlake Restaurant

This place is a real institution - it's been here for yonks, and what they are famous for is the Kong Bak Pau (braised pork with buns). I have vague memories of this place so it's likely I've been here before when I was a kid... but it came up recently during a conversation with an old friend, B (who turns out to be quite the foodie!)... so I figured it was time for a revisit.

The Kong Bak Pau comes in servings of 5 or 10. Apparently if another friend (who lurves the kong bak pau) had joined us, we would have ordered the bigger serving, but since it was just the four of us, and there were other dishes, 5 was quite sufficient...

It cost $11++ for 5 paus. Haven't had Kong Bak Pau in a long time so this quite hit the spot. It wasn't too fatty so I actually ate the whole thing without peeling off the layer of fat... but this is quite filling and I could only manage one.

We also ordered Xiao Long Bao $6++ -

and Guo Tie $6++ -

B *has* to order both everytime he's here - despite the fact that the owner has told him before that the filling is exactly the same... The xiao long bao surprisingly tastes much better than it looks, and the guo tie was not bad too.

The Long Beans $10++ had these unidentifiable cripsy bits in it that made this dish really good - normally it's dried shrimp, but I'm not entirely sure that's what it was here. I'm not a big fan of long beans but ate quite a bit of this...

The Fried Noodles $4++ were good too!

Good and cheap food in an unassuming environment... the Kong Bak Pau alone is worth a visit!

Westlake Restaurant
4 Queen's Road
Tel : 6474 7283

Friday, March 09, 2007

Siam Kitchen

I was actually planning to go to Marche at Suntec to use up a voucher that I had... but it turned out that Marche was all shuttered up - not sure if it was closed for renovations or if it had closed down. So while trying to figure out where else to have dinner, M & I ended up eating here.

There was a standee on the table promoting an 'eat-all-you-want' buffet that looked quite promising, but under the terms and coniditions, it said that it was only available on weekends. But when the waitress came by, we asked about the buffet and it was available!

And here's the spread :

There were about 20 dishes including most of my favourite thai dishes - tom yum soup, green curry, mango salad. With this kind of buffet, you never expect very good food, which was the case here - it was decent but average. And there was so much food the first time round that we didn't even order extras of anything! I think my stomach is starting to shrink...

At $19.90++, it's pretty good value for you're craving some thai food but can't decide exactly what to have. Try it out when variety is more important than quality :)

Siam Kitchen
Suntec City Tower 4
Tel : 6837 1588

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Hong Kong Street Jen Poo Kee

It's Asian and it's soupy, so that can only mean one thing - I'm having dinner with S :) To satisfy our craving for something hot and soupy, S suggested this place which is just a stone's throw from my house...

And it turns out to be Hong Kong Street Jen Poo Kee - which is not quite the same as the original Hong Kong Street Chun Kee located just across the road from my office. My guess would be a brother, uncle or distant relative decided to open his own stall after having learnt the tricks of the trade from the original chef... many similar stories like that all around the island.

Of course we have to order the Sliced Fish Bee Hoon $10 -

The soup was the milky type, tasty but not overly so, with lots of huge pieces of fresh fish. Just what we were craving!

I nearly always order Hot Plate Tofu $8 when I'm having tze char. My favourite part of this dish is the thin layer of egg that lies between the hot plate and all the other ingredients. With me around, it's a given that there will not be any egg left on the hot plate :)

The one here is not bad. Besides the requisite tofu and veggies, it's also got lots of seafood in it. And yes, I did eat most of the egg...

And with S it's always a balanced meal, so here's the veg we had...

Ok, I'll admit it. It was so long ago that I don't remember what veg it was... and I'm not much use in the kitchen too so I can't identify it to save my life! :)

The food was not too bad - a good option when I'm craving tze char and too lazy to travel very far...

Hong Kong Street Jen Poo Kee
Blk 721 Clementi West Street 2

Thursday, March 01, 2007

HK Kim Gary Restaurant

Was craving peanut butter toast and read some pretty good reviews of this place so I decided to check it out. This is my sixth post on eating places in Vivocity :)

I nearly always order anything that's spicy so the Hot and Spicy Noodles with Wanton $6.90+ was a total shoo-in for my choice of a main course -

It looks really spicy but it was quite bearable - well, for me at least... and it's a humungous bowl, even I could not finish it.

The other thing that's always a must-try at HongKong-style cafes is baked rice so we ordered Baked Rice with Chicken Chop in Twin Sauce $8.90+ -

The twin sauces on the baked rice are spaghetti sauce and cream sauce. Looks kinda gross but for me, anything that has that much cheese in it is sure to taste good :)

And since it was the main reason why I came here, of course I had to have the Condensed Milk with Peanut Butter Toast $1.80+ -

Still not as much peanut butter as I would have liked but probably one of the better ones you can find in Singapore. And at $1.80+, it's super cheap! Despite the fact that I already had a bowl of noodles, I still managed to eat quite a lot of the toast, to the amazement of the strangers sitting at the next table (I swear they were watching me eat!).

HK Kim Gary Restaurant
1 Harbourfront Walk
#02-128 Vivocity
Tel : 6376 8183